Starting a Podcast for Your Business

Interested in learning how to start a podcast for your business or brand? Specifically, how to start a business podcast that your audience will love?

Rather than going into depth on how to set up a great podcast website, or the exact recording tools you should use, this guide is focused on what you need to know before starting a podcast for your company.


3 things to know before starting a podcast for your business:

1. Evaluate the commitment

Starting a podcast requires you to be committed for the better part of a full year in order to see results. Some people say 8 to 10 months, but the longer you commit (ideally 1+ years), the more traction you’ll see and the stronger your audience will become.

2. Evaluate the expectations

Specifically, the expectations of your team. What we mean by this is, how will you dictate the success of your podcast at your organization? How will you measure ROI?

If your leadership team is looking for this podcast to drive hundreds of leads within the first month or two, they may be setting themselves up for disappointment. It takes time to build the awareness, trust, and audience base to see revenue-driving results from a podcast.

On the flip side, some companies think about running a podcast purely as a flywheel for the rest of their content. They're happy as long as it generates content for social, SEO articles, videos, sales collateral, etc. If this is the case for you, make sure you’re set up to measure and track the amount of content you produce from your show.

If your company really wants to see it drive revenue, which is also fair, think about how your team is set up to measure and track qualitative attribution––namely raising awareness, getting your message out there, and building trust with listeners. Focus on all the content your podcast can produce for your website and other marketing channels and how that will prompt people to consider your product.

3. Evaluate the bandwidth

Ask yourself the following:

  • Is this the right channel to be focusing your team’s energy on right now?
  • Do the host, team, and leadership have the right ideas of what this is going to cost?
  • Does the host have the energy and the time on their calendar to commit to doing this for the next 6 to 12 months?
  • Does your team have the budget required to run this for a year?

Even if you're emotionally or philosophically committed and you're aligned on expectations, it’s crucial you evaluate the commitment, budget, and bandwidth of your team.

Now, assuming your foundational evaluations come out well, and you decide you want to give podcasting a go, here's a checklist you can use as a 30,000-foot guide to help you launch your company’s podcast.

A checklist for starting your business podcast:

We’ll walk through each step individually, but first, here’s a breakdown of your checklist for starting a podcast:

  • Determine your goals
  • Perform creative research
  • Determine the concept of your show (content, cadence, style, name)
  • Find your host
  • Design the artwork
  • Record the sound profiles (intro, outro, interludes, etc.)
  • Record and produce 2 months’ worth of episodes
  • Publish your show
  • Grow the show

Step 1: Determine your goals

What are you trying to get out of this podcast?

If the podcast is, for example, sales enablement, you'll want to make sure that your episodes cover a lot of objections that your customers have.

If the goal of the podcast is meant to share your company’s unique points of view and educate customers on your approach and strategy, you’ll want to launch a branded podcast.

If the goal is to promote internal communications, consider launching a private, internal show.

If the goal is to build your leadership team’s personal brands, maybe you consider a podcast tour instead.

The point is, you need to be very clear about your intentions, why you want to start a podcast, and what you hope to accomplish with it.

Step 2: Perform creative strategy

Assuming you’re going down the route of a branded podcast, and it's something that you want your ideal customers or target audience to be listening to, your first step is to perform a creative strategy.

This is an area where a lot of companies go wrong.

They want to start a podcast, they have the right expectations, they're committed, they have their team’s buy-in, but they minimize the importance of the creative strategy research.

For example, let’s say your company wants to talk to insurance professionals, so they call their podcast “The Insurance Pro Podcast”. That's the way many companies approach the branding of their show. They simply insert their audience name in the title and launch another lookalike show.

The problem?

There are likely 20 or 30 podcasts out there doing the exact same thing.

That’s why it’s important to do a deep dive on creative strategy in order to stand out from the noise and differentiate yourself in the sea of branded podcasts.

Podcast Research

In order to stand out, you need to learn what’s out there in the podcast ecosystem that you would be competing against.

You can start by:

  1. Searching 5 to 7 keywords that you think your audience would be typing to find content like yours
  2. Survey your ideal audience to learn what podcasts they're listening to
  3. Look up roundup lists or features on blog posts about top podcasts in your category or industry

Then, list the top 20 to 30 shows that you'll be competing against. If your industry is small or a bit more niche, you may only find 10 to 15 major shows.

The goal is to look for shows that are still in production, meaning they’ve produced an episode in the past six months. Otherwise, you don’t have to worry about them.

Once you have your list of the top 20 to 30 shows in your space that you'll be competing against, you want to perform a deep evaluation on each of them.

  1. Look at their hooks – What's the concept about? How are they packaging up the show?
  2. Evaluate their content – What’s their focus? What's the scope of that content?
  3. Determine their style – Are these interview shows? Are they run by a single host? Does the team host them? Are they narrative, storytelling-style shows that are really engaging, or are they more traditional interview-style shows?
  4. Evaluate the cadence – Are they producing weekly or biweekly? Are they producing every day? What is the length of the episodes?

All in all, your goal is to get a solid idea of everything you're up against so you can create a unique space for yourself in the market.

Audience Research

The next part of your creative strategy is audience research, which primarily boils down to two things: surveys and phone calls.

In other words, you actually have to talk to your target audience and your ideal customers to better understand what they want to listen to in a podcast.

When it comes to surveys, try and get between 10 and 30 of your happiest customers to participate. We specifically want you to target happy customers so you gather the kind of feedback you want to attract more of when you launch the show.

When it comes to phone calls, we suggest talking to at least 3 to 5 of, again, your happiest customers. It might be harder to pin people down for these, but it’ll be worth the challenge. Phone calls give you the ability to listen to one-on-one feedback where you can ask follow-up questions and dive deeper into specifics.

Pro tip: Provide those customers with an incentive (e.g. gift card to their favorite coffee shop) in order to encourage more survey completions and/or phone calls.

Whether you're using surveys, phone calls, or both, the goal is to learn a few basic things:

  1. What pains, frustrations, or problems are they trying to solve at their companies?
  2. What have they been tasked with in order to grow their business?
  3. If they could jam with anyone in the world for an hour over coffee, who would that be?

The last question is a specific one we like to ask because it helps you determine who their ideal persona is. Oftentimes, people have a hard time articulating an exact person, unless it’s a big LinkedIn personality in their field, like what Dave Gerhardt is to marketing.

Instead, they’ll explain to you the type of person they’d like to chat with.

For example, if they work at a Series A startup, they could say something like, "I would love to have coffee with anyone who's doing my role at a company with double the revenue to learn how they operate at that level and how they got to where they are today."

Once you have more clarity on their ideal persona type, find out what questions they would ask this person.

This will help you shape the kind of content you can regularly include in your podcast. Such as, how to overcome the pains they face, how to help them grow their company and thrive in their role, and the answers to the specific burning questions they would love to ask an expert in their field.

Distill the findings

The final step of the creative strategy is to distill the findings in order to define the concept of your podcast.

Ultimately, audience research is the most important.

While you definitely want to make sure you stand out from the competition and avoid producing the same show as 10 other companies in your space, what you really want to focus on is giving your listeners what they want.

Produce content that is going to make them better in their careers, help them grow their companies, or improve their lives in a dramatic way.

That’s the key to creating a winning show, as long as you can get it in front of the right listeners.

Step 3: Determine the concept of your show


After you distill the research in step two, you're going to create a content outline. Think of this as the basic premise of your show.

The outline should include the hook and the scope of content.

The hook is the unique play that makes your show stand out from the rest. It could be the length of your episodes (make them intentionally shorter or longer than the other shows in your space), the way you story tell, or it could be that you only talk about one specific area in your industry and go really deep on it.

When it comes to the scope of your content, ask yourself, “What is the most important content my audience wants to hear?” Focus your content around the most critical, or most common, pain point you uncovered in the audience research.


Next, decide on your cadence.

Compared to the other shows in your space, are you going to publish new episodes weekly? Bi-weekly? Are you going to try daily?

We generally recommend weekly or more.

It's pretty difficult to grow a show with a significant following with a bi-weekly cadence. It can also be hard to gain engagement back if you take large chunks of time off in-between seasons. So generally with cadence, we recommend weekly. If you can do more, that's great.

It’s also important to decide whether you want to make it ongoing or seasonal.

If it's ongoing, this means you’re publishing episodes every single week with no breaks in between. Of course, we're all human and need to take a week off when needed, but the general premise is a regular weekly schedule with no long breaks.

Seasonal offers the advantage of letting you break it into seasons. Your seasons could be dictated by themes, as InVision does with their show, or they can be open-ended.

Many companies value the seasonal structure because it allows you to take a couple of months off to regroup, get your heads together, and ramp back up for the next season.


Next, you want to decide on the style of the show.

Are you going to do a narrative, storytelling show, like the popular podcast Serial?

Are you going to do a more traditional interview show?

Or are you going for a hybrid where you layer voiceovers, narrations, and/or musical interludes throughout the interview?

Again, this is partly tied to how you want your brand to sound and be conveyed. It's also partly influenced by what you see in the industry. If every one of your 20 competitors is doing 45-minute guest interviews, you might consider going down the narrative-style route.

It's really a matter of how different you want to sound. How different can you be? And is this sustainable for you?


The last part of determining your concept is actually defining the name of your show.

The goal is to pick a name that stands out, is memorable, and is indicative of your hook/overall concept.

Easier said than done, we know!

But the research you did in step 2 will help guide you towards a name that is truly unique in the ecosystem and also hits on the exact value you’ll bring to your audience.

Step 4: Find your host

The next step to starting a podcast for your business is deciding on the host.

It’s crucial to have someone who is either a subject matter expert, or at the bare minimum, someone in your company who is really intelligent, curious to learn, can ask good questions, and knows when to pursue a line of conversation to derive the right insights.

Ideally, though, you want a subject matter expert as the host.

They're going to ask the right questions, understand the audience better, and have more engaging dialogue because they can push back, disagree, or elaborate with confidence.

If you have enough budget, you might even consider hiring someone who's a really popular personality in your industry to host the show. The great thing about this is they’ll help you grow it and promote it.

In addition to being an expert, they also have to have the flexibility to accommodate guests (if your show is interview-style.) We find that companies run into a lot of trouble when they choose a subject matter expert host who only has two hours a week to dedicate to the podcast.

If it's just a solo hosted show, then the schedule is less of a problem because they can take those two hours and batch record their content. But if you have to accommodate guests, this person has to be semi-flexible.

They also have to be committed to hosting for the long haul.

The last thing you want is your host to bail on the show two months after launch forcing you to find someone else to take over and risk the show taking a dip in quality.

Long story short, put a lot of consideration into finding the perfect host.

Besides being a subject matter expert, make sure they have the flexibility to accommodate guests if that's something that you're going to bake into your show and make sure they’re committed to hosting for the long haul.

Step 5: Create the architecture to run your show

95% of the work that goes into creating an awesome podcast happens behind the scenes.

Next, you're going to have to create the architecture that it takes to run the show.

The architecture of the show includes having a repository, or a list where you store all the episode information. This is a place where everyone can see all the upcoming and past episodes and what stage are they’re in.

This repository should include:

  1. Episode number
  2. Guest name and company
  3. Interview date
  4. Interview prep guide
  5. Episode status (booked, recorded, production, scheduled, released)
  6. Release date
  7. Link to show notes

Then, you need to manage the creation of each episode. For this, you might use a project management tool like Asana, Monday, Basecamp, Notion or Trello.

You’ll use this tool to build out all the assigned tasks that it takes to get the show done. This is going to differ depending on how much you’re taking on internally.

If you have a whole agency running your podcast, your internal tasks might simply be: approve concept, approve edits, approve marketing content, promote the show on your channels.

If you're managing the entire show internally, it might be as advanced as building out repeating tasks for recording, producing, interview guide creation, prep guide creation for the guests, guest outreach guests, follow up, podcast repurposing, podcast publishing, scheduling, artwork, design, video creation, etc.

Next, determine how you'll incorporate these new episodes into your website.

Are you going to bake episodes into your existing CMS, if you're on WordPress or Webflow? Are you going to take out a domain name based on the show and build a separate website?

A bit of advice here would be to tease it out in a way that is different than blog content. In other words, don't just bake your episodes to make them look like blog articles.

If a visitor was on your site and clicked “Blog”, they shouldn’t also see your podcast episodes mixed in with your blog articles. At the very least, you're going to want to think about how you differentiate blog articles from episodes.

We recommend you build out a space on your website where every episode lives and has its own dedicated episode page. Here you can embed the sound file, video, show notes, transcript, information about the guest, and any relevant links mentioned in the episode.

Check out our podcast page as an example.

The last part of creating your architecture is determining a hosting platform for your show. Where will your podcast feed live? We give you our top recommendation later on in this guide.

Step 6: Produce the show

We generally recommend you produce 1-2 months' worth of episodes before you launch.

If you don't do this, you'll find that you quickly get backed up and will eventually need to break your cadence. You want to show up on the same day at the same time every week so your listeners have a sense of consistency when it comes to your publishing schedule. If you want to add extra episodes on top of that, that's great. But ideally, you want to make sure that you have 2 months of episodes completely finalized before you launch.

This will make sure you’re ahead of any inevitable hiccups like guest reschedules, content shifts, holidays, sick days, etc. You’ll have plenty of episodes in the pipeline in order to help accommodate those gaps.

You might also consider building a waiting list or teasing the show by launching a trailer.

Your trailer ideally talks about what the show is going to cover, why people should hit subscribe, and what they're going to get out of it. You can promote this wherever your audience hangs out online and build a waitlist for your show on your website.

Step 7: Grow your show

Once your show is up and running, you want to work on growing it. This involves a few things.

First, be consistent. Don't miss the cadence that you promised your listeners. The more content you put out, the higher your chances are of growing your show.

Next, be patient and keep at it. It's really tempting to look at 150 downloads after 4 months and think it's not working and scrap it. But being patient and consistent will help you see larger numbers as you go.

It’s also important to read reviews and use listener feedback to improve the show over time. This is something a lot of people don't do. If your listeners are saying your episodes are a bit too long, shorten them.

Of course, there's a dance here. You don't want to change everything out the gate and end up with several different episode styles. Wait until you build a bit of history and time under your belt before you play around with these changes.

Then, you want to repurpose the show. Find the 10, 20, or 30 most valuable moments from each episode and turn them into text posts, social posts, carousel images, or video clips with captions that you share on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

Take the best value of the show and deliver it natively and contextually to the places where your audience hangs out.

You can also consider running paid ads on podcast ad networks or sponsoring like-minded shows. Check out this Brands that Podcast episode for a deep dive on this topic.

Podcast tours are another great way to grow your show. This method allows you to promote the show in addition to your business to drive like-minded listeners over to your podcast.

Quick overview of equipment you need to start a podcast

Again, this is not meant to be a deep dive on equipment or exactly how to record, but we did want to cover our top recommendations in each category to get you started.

If you’re podcasting from home, which many of you are, we suggest you find a quiet place with great lighting and stick to a consistent recording schedule when you know your home will be calm and distraction-free.

Summary of tips for starting a podcast for your company

Here’s a quick list of tips on how to start a podcast for your business:

  1. Evaluate the commitment
  2. Evaluate the expectations
  3. Evaluate the bandwidth
  4. Determine your goals
  5. Perform creative strategy
  6. Determine the concept of your show
  7. Find your host
  8. Create the architecture
  9. Produce the show
  10. Grow your show

Learn More:

How to Create a Perfect Podcast:  How do you create the right show? How do you avoid creating a podcast like your competitors, or avoid getting paralyzed by indecision?

How to Sell Podcasting to Your Team: In this episode, we talk about how you can pitch a podcast concept to your team and highlight its value.

What Podcast Strategy is Best for Your Brand: Listen to a breakdown of the 4 podcasting channels you can use to grow your company, along with the pros and cons of each.

Driving Listener Growth: Learn how Jonathan Barshop grew HubSpot's “My First Million” podcast from 700K to 1M listeners in 3 months.'

Podcast Tour Strategies: A 40-minute rundown of what it takes to create a successful podcast guesting tour.

Talk to future customers, on podcasts they love.